Welcome to the April edition of my Totally Awesome Mock Draft. You can find the February and March editions here and here. This will be the final edition of the Totally Awesome Mock Draft, at least for 2013. Enjoy!
Round 1, pick 29: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
With this pick I return to my original February choice, primarily due to the fact that most other areas such as WR and CB are somewhat more settled. DT was not addressed in free agency, making now the perfect time to solve it with a top-tier player.
As stated in the February draft, placing him next to Wilfork would create a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators, as both players have the potential to draw double teams. Kawann is more then capable of stopping the run, and with a linebacking core that includes Spikes, Hightower, and Mayo all in addition to the previously mentioned mountain known as Wilfork we should have little trouble in that regard. What sets him apart from other DTs is his ability to push the pocket, and generate pass rush by bursting off the line with good speed and quickness. Pass-rush is key to succeeding in today's NFL, and interior push is superior to edge rushers that can just be outrun by a mobile QB. When combined with outside rushers like Jones and Nink, opposing quarterbacks will often find the pocket collapsing from all directions.
Another option in this spot is CB Xavier Rhodes, who I believe will be the best player available and fill a need should he fall to us at 29. If he does, I still say take him over Short, but chances of him falling that far are slim.
Round 2, Pick 59: Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
Like was the case in the first round, having addressed WR and CB though the Free Agency allows other needs to be taken care of in the draft. One of those is DE, where we have no proven options aside of our starters, Jones and Nink. The man known as "Tank" will be a great addition in this situation, with a high ceiling and great attitude. Corneillius' play is excellent in almost every way, from speed to agility and control. For the moment he lacks bulk and durability is a concern, though I believe the ACL issue to be more of a red herring then a red flag - if anything, it will probably help see to it that he falls all the way to our pick.
Corneillius combined with Short would give us a spectacular defensive line, if not one of the best in the NFL. Should we find a way to get Rhodes, Corneillius then still leaves us in a situation where both the line and the backfield are upgraded. And his name is Tank - whats not to love?
Round 3, Pick 91: Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
What are the chances both Da'Rick and Tank fall to us? I'm not sure, but I'd sure be happy if they did. This is the exact same pick as the one I made in March - and, copied from that mock, here is why:
At 6'3, Da'Rick is the ideal large, outside target that the Patriots have needed for the past several years. He is capable of lining up in the slot, too, and plays with exceptional strength and toughness. Many on this site have called for the Patriots to get a Brandon Bolden-type player that is open even when he's not, and can bail the offense out of trouble. Da'Rick is that guy, and spending a 3rd round pick on what in all likelihood will be either the #4 or #5 option behind the TEs in the passing game isn't bad at all.
Though the WR situation has been worked out a bit, I still believe there is a need for youth and strong 2/3/4th options, as well as for someone who can be Brady's new non-TE security blanket. Da'Rick fills all these needs.
Round 7, Pick 226: Colby Cameron, QB, Louisiana Tech
Again with the late round QBs, this time the same choice as March. As described in the March edition, Colby is known for his clutchness, leadership, and good decisions: perhaps the three most important things for someone who will be coming to an excellent offensive system that can help him improve on the mechanics and gameplay.
Round 7, Pick 235: Sam Brenner, OG, Utah
7th round pick? No worries, Donte Scarneccia will turn him into a a better lineman then most team's starters. With Thomas gone via Free Agency, the O-line may be the only part of the team that actually got weaker. Sam will provide depth, and, perhaps some day, starting-caliber play.
...and there you have it folks, the final mock draft of 2013. With only days to go before the real draft, I'd like to wish the best of luck to the Patriots scouts, managers and coaches - you've done a damn good job so far. But until then, any thoughts on my picks? Anything you especially liked, or didn't? Maybe we can get a serious discussion going this time.